Forget the calendar, No Noggin is coming early

Sherri Gardner HowellFarragut, Feature

I must begin with a true confession: I have in the past railed at department stores and advertisers and even neighbors for rushing the seasons. I love Halloween as much and maybe more than the average person, but I was not in favor of starting it at the end of August or even early September.


I thought it was crazy. Stores start selling big bags of Halloween candy when it was still so hot it might melt it on the way home. And if you were crazy enough to buy it early, then the question became how many bags you and your husband would eat before the poor Trick-or-Treaters could even get costumed up.

Grandchildren, however, have a way of changing everything. My grandson King, who will be 4 years old in January, loves all things scary. He has currently added to his obsession with trains a love for pirates. Of course, we thought he would be a pirate for Halloween. While a pirate costume may still be in his future, he is going to be the scourge of Franklin, Tenn., on Halloween as the hat-kicking scary scarecrow “No Noggin” from the Curious George movies and books.

Gigi had never heard of No Noggin, a lapse that was remedied when I visited King for a few days this summer. My education was further enhanced when he stayed with Neville and me for five days recently. We watched that monkey and the man in the yellow hat unravel the No Noggin story several times on Netflix and acted out the best parts three or four times a day.

No Noggin (King Howell) is demanding that Halloween excitement start early this year.

King has a vivid imagination and is always the writer, director, lead actor and casting director in his playtime scenarios. I am trying not to be offended, but Gigi is always cast as the bad guy. I have been a pirate, a bear, numerous dinosaurs, a Bergen from the Troll’s movie, a dragon, a snake and other random monsters, all who are defeated by whichever good guy King has pulled in to save the day.

With No Noggin, however, King was always the headless scarecrow with the scary fingers and quick feet that kicked all the hats off everyone in town who would pass by his spooky tree.

With King’s visit at September’s dawning and all the excitement about the scary scarecrow, the Halloween spirit was itching to come out. Before I knew what I was saying, I was telling King that his Gigi was Scary Sherri at neighborhood parties when his daddy was a little boy. Next thing you know, I was digging out my hat and gloves and mask to show him.

Before the five days were gone, I was begging Neville to drag the Halloween decorations out of the basement so that King and I could decorate the house.

He refused. “You are going to the Splash Pad to cool off, and you want me to get out the Halloween decoration?” he asked. “Have you gone nuts?” In the final battle, common sense won. I did buy a blow-up Halloween Paw Patrol puppy sitting on a pumpkin, but we only blew it up in the playroom.

This delay in turning our house into a Halloween delight gives me another excuse to have my grandson come visit and help with the transformation in early October.

You might want to be on the lookout. I’m not sure what kind of havoc Scary Sherri and No Noggin together can wreak in Knoxville.

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